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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Friday, October 30

Wirth goes negative

Republican candidate for Commissioner of Public Safety Richard Wirth has employed negative tactics in the waning days of the campaign, sending out a mailer that makes some accusations against his opponent, Democrat Kevin Connolly.

The Connolly campaign is denying the allegations therein, we'll have to wait-and-see if the campaign files a complaint with the fair campaign practices committee.

This is the first negativity that we've seen in this campaign, and I woudln't venture a guess as to the motivation behind the negativity, but I think it's safe to assume that it is not a policy coming down from higher up the GOP food chain. Early in the campaign, Mayor Scott Johnson made a point of saying that he did not want to go negative in his campaign, because that isn't what the voters want to see from their candidates.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a laugh if you took the negativity out of the Kim campaign it would disappear.

October 30, 2009 at 9:01 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew J Bernstein:

The "fair campaign practices committee" is just another part of the current establishment. Complaining to them isn't worth the effort if you're not part of the good old boy, chamber of commerce, GOP gang.

Pretending that the GOP doesn't approve of negative campaigning is a joke. The GOP invented negative campaigning.

October 31, 2009 at 8:33 AM 
Anonymous John Kaufmann said...

I thoouht your article on the water line was an excellent and balanced piece.

I am interested why you left out his earlier explanations about how it was done in order to put a fire hydrant out there. As you may recall he originally claimed that he needed it because Fish Creek froze and when this turned out not to be true he claimed it was because a "dry hydrant" would freeze which also turns out not to be true.

I do not think that these latter points are trivial since they raise serious questions about Scirocco's honesty in this matter.

Since your piece was quite long, maybe it was a space issue? I would be interested in your thoughts.

October 31, 2009 at 9:55 AM 
Anonymous The write in choice for Mayor said...

It's simple, really. Wirth is losing in the polls so it is common practice to do these sort of tactics. Just look at the Miller Campaign that has been doing it for quite a while. It is also a look at the type of character of Wirth. A sleazy junkyard private eye. That's how they roll!

October 31, 2009 at 11:50 AM 
Blogger Andrew J. Bernstein said...

anon: 9:01: The Wirth piece includes several "liberal interpretations" of statements made by Connolly. For example, he translates Connolly quote "at a reasonable cost," (in reference to running city government as "I will raise your taxes."

To me, that is a striking leap.

That's not to say that Kim hasn't been negative, but he has mostly stuck to issues. It's one thing to criticize your opponent's position, but I think it's another to misconstrue their words in order to create a half-true image of them, and that, I believe is where the complaint would arise. Of course, I guess that's politics.

John: Although Commissioner Scirocco said repeatedly that work was conducted to extend fire protection, I did not talk to him directly about the frozen water issue.

The hydrant they installed is is at the entrance to Regatta View, about 200 yards (estimate) from the bank of the creek. While you could pump water up the hill, if my house were burning, I'd rather have a hydrant ready to go, than to have to wait for firefighters to set up a pump, or, alternately, fill a tanker.

October 31, 2009 at 3:17 PM 
Anonymous Kid Tatter said...

Talking about being negative! Let's not forget Johnson's campaign
negativity. One of his hack's wrote recently to the paper bashing firefighters and their unions. All should read that letter and realize Johnson is as sneaky as they come. Another recent letter written by Jean Heennigan attacking Scirrocco is just a follower of the McTygue clan trying to hang on to their last chance. And let's not forget that Johnson's Deputy Shauna Sutton is spreading any possible rumor door to door for instance Val Keehn as Kim's deputy if elected. Oh, also Sutton calling a former city employee and harassing her on a voice mail. Time to make that recording public, Andrew.

October 31, 2009 at 5:41 PM 
Anonymous John Kaufmann said...

The fire hydrand at Regatta is not new and it is not the one that Scirocco was going to install.

With respect, the point I was trying to make was that Scirocco told a series of contradictory stories about the fact that the alleged reason for putting the line out there was to install the hydrant. None of these made any real sense. Particularly troubling was his argument that a "dry hydrant" out there would freeze.

In fact, the dry hydrant would address your concern about being able to hook up quickly. You may recall that I provided you with links regarding the fact that installed properly a dry hydrant will work in winter.

I would expect that the city would have saved an enormous amount of money had they installed the dry hydrant properly rather than dig a 400 foot trench and lay all that pipe if in deed that was the purpose of the project (which you know I doubt).

I realize that there is only so much time you can devote to any story and I think you covered the basic issues. In fact, the editorial endorsing Scirocco addressed my basic concern which was that there was a problem with the way this thing was done. Hopefully, all of this will be a lesson for Scirocco and other commissioners that when providing special services for private interests there is a need to do it in a scrupulous and transparent way.

October 31, 2009 at 6:10 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Skip look to Tony Izzo to say what was leagle and what was not. He said that he could not take money for the pipe only hook up fees, and that is what they went with.The Fire Dept. had the say about what was best hydrant.

October 31, 2009 at 8:00 PM 
Anonymous Bruce Lebinski said...


The worst thing about you endorsing Johnson is that John Tighe agrees with you. I was starting to think you were alright, until now. Just so you know, The saratogian endorsement of who will win the Mayor's race is usually the kiss of death! Maybe that's your plan.
Curious also which way you all voted since Barb Lombardo's son is on the DEM committee. Is her son backing Johnson?
One other question: What's your connection with Tighe? Is this little fued just to get more hits on your blog? Are you really friends with him and his wife who works at Skidmore? Thats where you went to school,am I right?

November 1, 2009 at 2:35 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya got the wrong hydrant Andrew. The yellow one at the corner of Ragatta View and 9P has been there. Go east on 9P from Ragatta View just past the second house and you will see the new red hydrant. The fresh diggings might still be visable unless the rain or fallen leaves have aready hidden it.

Isn't it suspicious that the new main stopped there. For a few more dollars Scirocco should have taken the line further towards the lake. Then he could have added 2 more water customers, the rowing club and the marina. If pressurized water were available these 2 establishments could also have a fire suppression system installed, giving them top of the line fire protection that would protect firefighters if they ever had a fire.

Andrew this would be a nice bike ride, getting you out of the office, and seeing the story first hand.

November 1, 2009 at 4:05 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew - if what you are saying is true, it doesn't sound as much like 'negativity' as it does libel. Are you going to follow up with a story?

November 2, 2009 at 1:51 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wirth told it like it is and thats what you librals hate. Well Wirth won and now you want to cry foul. Bernstien, you never pointed out the lies from Connolly's campaign.We will sell the rec center to the YMCA? Crazy and can't be done as well as very misleading. Why didn't you comment on the fact that all Connelly could talk about is ideas that cost money? I worked on Rick Wirths campaign and I know you never gave him a snowballs chance in hell and that you are guilty of twisting his words. It is clear that you are partial and unfair. You are the pot calling the kettle black. The sad part is Rick is one of the most honest and fair people I ever met. Have fun bashing him for the next two years.

November 4, 2009 at 2:55 PM 

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